1860The Workers' Association of 1860
Trip to Germany and Switzerland
Jules Jürgensen fils
A Heart Filled with Spite and Loathing
Return to Copenhagen.
Is invited to dine with King Frederik VII. HCA stays till 11 pm and reads aloud.
Once again, HCA reads aloud for the Workers' Association [presumably the new one of 1860]; "there were crushing crowds outside but I was able to remain completely calm and read well and was greatly applauded", writes HCA in the almanac. In a letter dated 21st January to Mrs Scavenius at Basnæs Estate (not printed), he writes:
On Monday I read aloud for the Workers' Association, which I am sure Your Grace has read about in [the newspaper] Berlings Tidende; It is surely of immeasurable benefit that several professors and poly-technicians have joined forces to arrange lectures for the working class, 3 times a week. It was then decided to also try giving these people a little poetry, and it turned out to be extremely popular. The hall was completely full, 700 people I think, and many more stood out on the street and certainly were noisy, as they could not get in. They demanded the windows be opened so they could hear me. They understood perfectly what I read aloud and in the end there was such quietness, such attention, that one could have heard a pin dropping on the floor; I do hope and believe that I have achieved something good with this reading of a couple of fairy-tales. Everything is now calm again in here, thank God, and I do not think it was quite as bad as some say. I was not actually out late in the evening and thus did not perceive anything at all".
Start of publication in the newspaper Berlingske Tidende of the series "A Visit to Charles Dickens in the Summer of 1857" (continued on 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 31st January as well as on 1st & 2nd February).
Reads once more for the Workers' Association. In an unpublished letter to Mrs Scavenius at Basnæs Estate, HCA states: "for a fairly over-filled house and a very grateful audience, I read: "The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf"; "The Ugly Duckling" and "She Was Good for Nothing"; this last one brought tears to peoples' eyes".
HCA is one of the hosts of a gala evening held at the Casino theatre on the evening of this day. The profit was to go to the Childrens' Hospital.
HCA has his will certified by the notary public and gives it to Edvard Collin.
Reads aloud once more for the Workers' Association.
The poem "Jylland" (Jutland) is published (with music by Peter Heise) in the magazine Illustreret Tidende.
Reads aloud for the Students' Association.
HCA is a member of the committee for the establishment of a monument for H.C. Ørsted. It is significant for HCA that work on this matter is commenced on his own birthday.
This date also marks the earliest registration in the almanac of the connection with the Melchior family (although the relationship does stem from the mid or late 1850's).
Receives a visit from the German poet Klaus Groth from Kiel.
Receives written confirmation of the increase in his yearly appanage (grant/civil list annuity).
Prince Frederik (the later Frederik VIII) seeks out HCA after 9 in the evening, so as to bid him farewell, before his trip abroad.
Travels first to Sorø, where he takes part in a birthday celebration for Ingemann on 28th and remains till 30th.
Travels via Korsør to Flensborg and on to Rendsborg, where he remains from 1st - 8th June. Here a party is given for him by the officers, he reads aloud for the soldiers and is serenaded on the morning of his departure, as well as being cheered by the soldiers. HCA describes these events to Mrs Scavenius of Basnæs in an unpublished letter dated 27th June:
"In Rendsborg I stayed with Captain Lønborg, son-in-law of titular Councillor of State Thiele. One evening I was asked to read, just as I had last winter at the Workers' Association in Copenhagen, for our "soldier boys" here in Rendsborg too; I was pleased to do so. "Tonhalle", which is larger than the small hall at Casino, was hastily decorated with Dannebrog [the Danish flag]; Officers and their wives, non-commissioned officers and their wives and many soldiers, probably 1500 people all together, welcomed me with flowers and cheers! I was deeply moved, did however read well; national songs were played and when I was about to depart on the next morning, the garrison band played in front of the house I was staying in; the train station was decorated with Danish flags, friends escorted me there, the soldiers sang and cheered me. I was so overwhelmed by all this that I, as you probably well understand, broke into tears when I finally departed".
Via Altona to Harburg. Further on through Hildesheim to Göttingen and from there to Eisenach, Meiningen, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg (outing from here on 18th to King Ludwig's marble temple Walhalla). Spends time in Regensburg with the painter Wilhelm von Kaulbach, who is also visiting the town. At a social gathering, where Kaulbach is present, HCA reads aloud "Noget" (Something) and "Hjertesorg" (Heartache), and Kaulbach exclaims:
"What a poet you are, always new and greater, and what a lecture! He asked me to read "Englen" [The Angel], which he had painted and would soon be released in print. I was to receive a copy then" (the diary, 16th June).
Arrival in Munich, where he obtains copies of his latest German release, Aus Herz und Welt (From The Heart and The World). Is received in audience by the Queen of Bavaria. Socialises with Kaulbach, amongst others.
30th June - 3rd July
Outing to Oberammergau to the passion plays.
"The whole drama was like a church service, where the sermon is not only heard but also seen as it is brought to life. Most likely, everyone left feeling replenished, filled by that loving soul who sacrificed himself for future generations" (from the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life)).
In Oberammergau, the actor Lauritz Eckardt and the ballet-dancer Harald Scharff (both from the Royal Theatre) join the party. HCA also sees them in Munich.
3rd - 11th July
In Munich once again. Here he sees the opera Tannhäuser. Comments on this in the diary on 8th: "the superb music filled me".
Continues to Switzerland (via Lindau and Richterschwyl to Brunnen).
14th - 28th July
From Brunnen via Luzern and Biel to Le Locle, where he stays until 13th August with the watchmaker Jules Jürgensen (son of the Danish watchmaker Urban Jürgensen). At this time Jules Jürgensen is still living in the same house which his uncle, J. Fr. Houriet and his family, had lived in, and where HCA had been a guest for the first time in 1833.
The oldest son of Jürgensen, Jules, a watchmaker like his father, translates some of HCA's fairy-tales into French and during his stay there, HCA helps with the translation:
"The few French translations of my work which had been made at that time were not considered very good, and my young friend therefore wanted to try doing a better job. And indeed work on a French translation was commenced during my stay at Locle. To my surprise I saw and learned how rich in expressions of feelings and moods the Danish language is, compared to the French; the latter has often only a single word where we have a whole spectre. I would call the French language plastic in nature, it resembles the art of sculpture, where everything is defined, clear and rounded, while our mother-tongue has a richness of colour, a diversity of expression, to depict the various moods. I was pleased with the richness of my mother-tongue; how soft and sonorous it is, when spoken how it ought to be!" (In the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life).
By stagecoach to Yverdon and from there by train from Neufchatel to Lausanne and by wagon from here to Ouchy. Continues on 17th by steamship to Vevay and Montreux (arriving 18th). Lodges a little below Montreux in Vernex. Outings on foot in the surrounding area. Returns to Lausanne on 25th and carries on to Geneva on 26th.
The death of Johan Ludvig Heiberg.
26th August - 15th September
In Geneva. At this time, HCA vacillates between feeling elated and depressed and is sometimes afflicted with anxiety and thoughts of suicide. Fears becoming insane. The mood does however lighten, so the last week of the stay in Geneva turns out well ("Basically I am perfectly well, the pleasure is disturbed only by myself", the diary, 7th). During the stay here he receives the first texts translated by Jules Jürgensen fils and socialises with Henri Blanvallet, who wishes to translate Kun en Spillemand (Only a Fiddler) and De to Baronesser (The Two Baronesses) into French.
Meets M.A. Goldschmidt, who is on his way from London to Florence.
Is introduced to Hungarian literature when he meets K.M. Kertbeny, translator of Petöfi. Has mixed feelings about Kertbeny. His suspicions are later confirmed.
People wish to pay tribute to HCA, as they have read in Das Märchen meines Lebens ohne Dichtung (The True Story of My Life) that today is the anniversary of his arrival in Copenhagen. He does note in the almanac, however, that the anniversary is in fact the 6th.
16th - 21st September
Is in Basel, where he socialises especially with the painter G.A. Amberger and his family. Is sought out here by Charlotte Kestner junior, daughter of the Lotte Kestner on whom Werther's Lotte is based.
Amberger travels with HCA to Karlsruhe and is the guest of HCA here. Both continue on 24th to Stuttgart, where they stay with a publisher-bookseller by the name of Hoffmann.
Via Augsburg to Munich, where he stays until 9th. Whilst here he is summoned to King Max, also dining here, (before the dinner there is a meeting for German historians. HCA thus meets Leopold v. Ranke of Berlin, who reads aloud from his latest work on English history).
Via Nuremberg to Leipzig (arrival on 11th). Here he visits the publishers Wiedemann and Lorck. Hears about strong German feelings of hostility towards Denmark. Continues to Dresden on 13th.
13th October - 4th November
In Dresden. Some unpleasantness is experienced due to a letter from Lorck to Kertbeny. HCA is once again in a deep personal crisis. Socialises once more with Serres, amongst other of his old friends. Visits Clara Schumann. Through her he also gets to know the violinist Joseph Joachim, and sees him and Clara together at concerts. Also meets the Norwegian poet Andreas Munch and socialises quite a bit with him. Is informed that his fairy-tales are read in the schools in Saxony. Upon invitation he visits King Johann of Saxony on 3rd and reads fairy-tales aloud.
Edvard Collin suggests in a letter to HCA of this date that he [EC] place 1.000 rdl. of his money at 5% (1% more than the bank rate), "on loan to a mutual acquaintance who is reliable enough". HCA accepts. Later, it transpires that this mutual acquaintance is Henrik Stampe.
Clara Heinke tries to persuade HCA to visit her in Breslau, but HCA is not at all inclined to do so.
To Berlin (only 1 day is spent here, during which he visits Meyerbeer the composer and sees Verdi's Rigoletto, which he finds very interesting). Continues via Hamburg, Neumünster, Rendsborg, Haderslev, then by ship to Assens, arriving in Odense on 9th.
"The town spruced up, but not as interesting as in the old days. The church stands detached but Beldenak's building is gone. The pharmacy is neatly drab, many drab new boxes... In solitude I sat at Postgaarden [a restaurant], alone in my childhood town, while abroad I am surrounded by friends and admirers",
(the diary, 9th).
Amongst others, he spends time with Julius Gerson ("A Little Pixie Left"), who is the editor of the newspaper Fyens Stiftstidende. Sees that the house of his parents has been rebuilt, with an extra floor on top, and that many changes have occurred. Continues by stagecoach to Nyborg on 10th and from there by steamship to Korsør.
10th - 17th November
At Basnæs Estate. Recognises himself in a book by E.M. Oettinger about the courts. Feels he is "maliciously" described and sees in the paper that W.I. Karup, a man of letters, delivers a lecture for the people regarding HCA's life. In this lecture he is "treated spitefully and slandered".
"On this journey I have thrown myself to sea, so to speak, and let myself be swept along by the waves. They sweep me back to my own shore once again. Why! To be ridiculed there or to crush the head against a rock. Even if it were burning, one must walk the earth... My heart is filled with spite and loathing." (The diary, 12th).
17th - 20th November
At Holsteinborg Castle. Is given a room facing the castle chapel, from which he can hear the psalms being sung and snippets from the words spoken by the priest. Notes in the diary on 20th: "Dear God, let my mind too be lightened in Christianity and God!"
Goes to Sorø, where he stays with the Ingemanns. Visits the composer Peter Heise and meets the sculptor H.V. Bissen at his home. Ingemann reads the start of his memoirs for HCA.
Back in Copenhagen, where he decides to stay at Hotel d'Angleterre. Ida Koch (nèe Wulff, daughter of P.F. Wulff and the sister of Jette) invites him to dine with her on Fridays (formerly his regular day with the Ørsted family). Looks at new rooms but receives two on the ground floor of the hotel,
"where I now live, like in a lamp on the wall, as I have two rooms on the ground floor here on the corner of Kongens Nytorv and Østergade. But it's far too busy here, with a constant drone and a rushing along, also driving in the night. Unbearable in the long run" (in unpublished letter dated 10th December to Mrs Scavenius of Basnæs Estate).
Reads aloud for the Students' Association.
Travels from Copenhagen to Sorø and continues on 20th to Basnæs Estate:
"I spent Christmas Eve at Basnæs, where the Christmas tree was lit, not just one for the house guests, but also one for the poor children of the estate; their tree stood just as richly decorated and shining bright as ours. Mrs Scavenius had decorated it herself and lit every candle, and I had cut and glued the figures which hung on the branches. The tables around it were set and laden with Christmas presents which the poor mothers were especially looking forward to; linsey-woolsey for skirts, linen for shifts and many other useful items. The poor were treated to a good meal and had a pleasant evening. We had several. The snow drifted up, the sleigh bells rang, the wild swans sang out on the beach. It was wonderful outdoors, it was pleasant indoors; the young people danced until the early hours. From neighbouring houses and from far away relatives and friends had been invited".
Amongst the guests on Christmas Eve was also Carl Bernhard, who arrives with the family from Borreby Estate, where he is spending Christmas:
"His fresh, lively depictions and the lifelike, characteristically Danish lends him significance as a writer. Moreover, he was amiable, helpful and dedicated; it was hard to believe he was in his sixties, so youthful were his looks. He was amongst those dancing, he was amongst those conversing, and towards me he was open, sincere, laughing at the pettiness of the world, rejoicing in all the blessed which is also to be found" (from the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life)).